While I am always eager for whatever comes my way with this series, I find that the ongoing saga of Elena and Raphael is the story that is at the heart of things for me.
Archangel’s Heart is a story of an ongoing love affair for the ages that doesn’t grow stale, but proves again why Rafael and Elena are together and demonstrates how far they have come as they battle an evil rotting in the shadows and shine light into the secrets of Elena’s past. And if they’re rock star romance power wasn’t enough, Aodhan and the Cadre along with a new cast of angel characters have plenty of page time as the ongoing threat of Lijuan and the Cascade continues to pose trouble in the world.
I found this ninth installment in the Guild Hunter series a gem from cover to cover. The Guild Hunter series is one that is best enjoyed in order particularly this one as it references things back all the way to the beginning and builds on the series arc that has continued through the series.
Elena and her archangel are summoned to a meeting with the Cadre of Archangels to discuss the trouble building in Lijuan’s territory as a result of her two years of silence. There is speculation that she has gone into the Sleep while others say she is planning something big. Meanwhile, the Cascade of magic induced events has been holding off on the horizon though Elena feels that at any moment the other shoe will drop and it will crash into them yet again. Illium has recovered from near destruction and Aodhan continues to show he is ready to rejoin the world again, but Elena worries for both her Blueboy and her Sparkle along with many others.
Rafael has to appear for the summons or suffer the consequences. The meeting of the Cadre was called by the aloof sect of angels called the Luminata who choose to live apart from the world seeking a higher plane. The Luminata live in a neutral place of their own and are neutral in allegiance. Though, he would protect his Elena- his Guild Hunter, she, too, must be at his side in a show of strength and part of angel politics. His Guild Hunter is a strong warrior, but she is still a fledgling angel and holds his heart.
Their arrival at the hidden city brings to light a mystery from Elena’s past and a growing sense of unease that someone is working in the shadows for their own purposes. Rafael and the Cadre must figure out what to do about Lijuan’s territory, but he and Elena must also work to stop a new threat as well. And the Cascade has returned again full of sound and fury.
Alright, if I didn’t love this series for its romance (and I do) or for it’s world of angels and vampires and gifted human hunters, then the exciting adventures and mysteries that occur would definitely hook me in.
Rafael and Elena’s ongoing story as their relationship grows and reaches new depth is a source of warm delight. I love that they actually grow as individuals and a couple. He is domineering and protective, but she is mindful of motives and situations. And yes, a heroine who is not stupid. Elena knows her strengths, but she knows that she is a feeble match for the power of older angels, especially the archangels. Rafael provides Aodhan and he cautions her and she listens, but she also makes it clear that there are times that she must stand on her own strength and he struggles, but does let her. They are true partners in love and in their position as Archangel and Consort.
I loved the secondary story that was running alongside of Aodhan. Much of his past is a mystery. I know he suffered horrendously and this nearly broke him, but in this book, Rafael has given Aodhan the responsibility of being his and Elena’s guard since they are only allowed one to accompany them to the Luminata’s city. Aodhan desires to prove himself and he does. There is the temptation to join the sequestered angels where he is not prodded to put himself forward or heal from his pain, but he is Elena’s guard. I can’t wait to get more of his story in the future.
The blend of mystery, political intrigue, and angel conflict for the action side was well done. The mystery is not difficult to figure out and isn’t meant to be, but it was fun and exciting watching it all unfold. The author has a great sense of pace, atmosphere, and timing so that it all built to the right moment when I was kept in high anticipation. What came was a page turner and what came afterward was just the right amount of denouement to leave me warmed and satisfied. And also wanting more.
All in all, a strong series proves why it continues to be much anticipated and a feverish amount of anticipation and excitement for each release that never disappoints. Guild Hunter series is a crossover between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance that I can heartily recommend to lovers of both. Passion, mystery and action in a paranormal world are not to be missed.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.